Brian Velez Memorial Award - Outstanding Volunteer - Peter Porras
Peter Porras has devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to transforming the pump tracks and bike park features at the Jeff Seymour Family Center into a beloved recreational facility for families and bicycling enthusiasts in the greater El Monte area. In October 2019 the space was officially re-dedicated as an El Monte city park facility, providing a foundation for greater public access and use in the coming years. However with City staff stretched thin and lacking expertise in bike park maintenance, expert riders like Peter have played a critical role in making the San Gabriel Valley’s first public bicycle park operational.
Peter regularly leads volunteer days to shape the park’s beginner and intermediate riding sections, coordinates with El Monte City School District and ActiveSGV staff, and shares updates on the park’s status on the official Jeff Seymour Family Center Bike Park Facebook group page. His all-volunteer commitment is particularly meaningful as COVID-19 has significantly limited the types of recreational activities youth and families can participate in over the past six months and for the foreseeable future. Bicycling remains one of the few activities people can do in a safe, socially-distant manner to maintain their physical and mental health, and the Bike Park provides a safe, car-free space for the community to ride bikes and improve their skills. We commend Peter’s effort to make the SGV a better place with his commitment to the park.
ActiveSGV's awards bash, Noche de las Luminarias, honors people making strides to realize a more sustainable, equitable, and livable San Gabriel Valley. On 10/10/20 a special virtual edition of the annual party will celebrate 10 years of ActiveSGV. Tickets available here
Outstanding Community Organization - APIFM
For over a decade API Forward Movement (APIFM) has advocated for the public health of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the San Gabriel Valley and across Los Angeles County. Their history of community work has included coordinating active living programs (e.g., hiking, biking, and running groups), developing a food hub to distribute fresh produce from Asian American and other farmers of color to corner stores in low income LA neighborhoods, supporting the implementation of Vision Zero in the City of Los Angeles, hosting a popular annual walking challenge, and leading air quality monitoring and education efforts with youth and residents of the cities of Monterey Park and Alhambra.
APIFM's air quality work is particularly relevant as the region has suffered from some of the worst air pollution in decades due to recent fires, impacting millions of residents of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. In addition to helping over 70 local residents install air quality monitors at their homes, the Clean Air SGV campaign is collaborating with UCI to study individual exposure to air pollution via the use of wearable/portable air sensors. In doing so APIFM is raising community understanding and awareness of a problem that will become worse if our region and state don't act to address it, and helping empower everyday residents to act individually and collectively to support clean air.
In 2017 the organization updated its vision and name, from APIOPA (Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance) to APIFM to better reflect their long-standing commitment to cultivating healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing.
ActiveSGV's annual awards bash, Noche de las Luminarias, honors people making strides to realize a more sustainable, equitable, and livable San Gabriel Valley. On 10/10/20 a special virtual edition of the annual party will celebrate 10 years of ActiveSGV. Tickets available here
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab